Retailers Succeed at Listings, Struggle on Rankings, Review Response

Retail’s top brands, including Walmart, Nordstrom, and Sephora, exceed expectations on multi-location listings management but could be performing much better in rankings and reputation management, according to a report on 20 retailers by reputation management firm Chatmeter.

The report assigned retailers local brand visibility (LBV) ratings based on unbranded rankings for key words; online reviews; listings; and their preparedness for Black Friday shopping relative to competitors. The Lego Store posted the highest overall rating at 75, followed by Disney and Williams-Sonoma at 70. Forever 21 posted the lowest score at just 49.

Retailers scored best on average on listings, suggesting that management is succeeding at getting multi-location stores to optimize the fundamentals of their online presence. The poorest average category score, rankings, indicates brands are failing to pop up when consumers search for unbranded items. At a time when consumers are increasingly searching for items “near me” instead of brand-name stores where they could find those items, businesses stand to gain if they invest in non-brand-specific keywords.

While the average five-star rating for brands came in at a respectable 4.2, multi-location brands could vastly improve their review management strategies, in which responding to reviews, especially negative ones, in a constructive manner plays a key role. Brands responded to only 1.1% of reviews analyzed in the report.

In addition to bidding on unbranded keywords and building reputation management strategies, the report urges retailers to scour their reviews for insights on how to boost in-store experiences. Because reviews of brick-and-mortar experiences are so specific, pertaining to a given store with a specific layout and staff, reviews provide real-world analytics that should allow managers to implement local changes in order to keep customers coming back.

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He joined Street Fight as a contributing writer in 2015, has compiled the daily newsletter since 2016, and has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Shoot him an email at jzappa@streetfightmag.com.
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